Sunday, February 09, 2014

Sanding House and ‘Minnow’


Sandpaper is for smoothing a surface, and yet the grains of sand or other abrasive material stuck to the paper actually create gouges in the surfaces being sanded. The rule of thumb for sanding is to start with a heavy grade paper and progressively move to finer ones, until finishing. At that point, gouged marks in the surface are so minute they cannot be seen by the naked eye, nor can they be felt though fingertips.

Parts of ‘Minnow’, the Paradox sailboat I am renovating, were extremely rough; especially woven roving patches along the gunwales. I was unable to completely eradicate them, but I was able to make them look less rough, and more presentable.

Yesterday I started sanding wooden surfaces in the kitchen of our house in preparation for painting them.  This drastic action came about at the behest of my wife who coerced me into being active with her in an early spring clean. Part of the task entails ditching dusty objects cluttering the loft, shampooing carpets and refreshing paintwork.

With not a great deal of zeal, I made a start to sanding at about mid morning, and at approximately 11.10 I noticed my wristwatch was covered with a film of dust. Only then did it occur to me I had not donned a dust mask. In fact, I did not have one, because I had thrown it away, on account of being worn out. Instead of stopping work to buy one, I improvised one from a handkerchief and a rubber band. For the record, I took a selfie in which I resembled a frightened cowboy who had lost his Stetson and who was about to enter a dust storm. Regarding the dusty storm, it was not a metaphor, but a reality.

The more I sanded, the more I entered into it, and by the time I had finished, I actually found myself enjoying the task. At the end of the day, I felt like complimenting myself, and found it hard to stifle a ray of pride by what I had achieved. Was my wife pleased? I think so.

Painting the kitchen should, by comparison, be a snip, and maybe I’ll have even more fun and my wife will be pleased. Oh, what joy!


Finished Sanding ‘Minnow’s’ Topsides


Unknown said...

Hello Bill, love the improvisation. It takes me back to my farming days when that kind of thing was the order of the day.

William Serjeant said...


Married men, farmers and sailors: all must be resourceful if they are to survive.